Mary Lau waits six weeks to be told of HK-based journalist's detention on the mainland The wife of a Hong Kong journalist arrested on the mainland on charges of spying has been officially notified of his arrest - exactly six weeks after he was detained. Although the government has been aware for some time that Ching Cheong, senior China correspondent for Singapore's The Straits Times, was arrested in Guangzhou on April 22, the notification makes it easier for it to begin aiding the detained man's family. The notification was given to Ching's wife, Mary Lau Man-yee - also a journalist - on Friday night, said a Straits Times official. Both the central and Hong Kong governments remain tight-lipped about the case. In a departure from normal practice, the police and Security Bureau yesterday refused to comment on the notification, or even confirm its existence. 'We do not comment on individual cases,' said a spokesman for Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong. 'We have nothing to add to what the Security Bureau said,' a police spokeswoman said. Ching has reportedly been accused of accepting large amounts of money in return for spying for an unidentified overseas intelligence service. But in an open letter addressed to President Hu Jintao carried in newspapers last week, Lau denied he was spying for another country. Rather, she said her husband and missing mainland academic Lu Jianhua - also believed to have been detained - had helped to compile a report on Hong Kong's political situation for Mr Hu. 'It is known that this particular report was highly regarded by some government leaders,' she wrote. His views had also indirectly been sought on other issues related to reunification and, she said, recent overtures towards Taiwan had reflected his advice to the administration on that issue. 'I hope you understand that Ching Cheong and Lu Jianhua did everything from the standpoints of Chinese, and for the sake of China's fundamental interests,' she said. Efforts to contact Lau yesterday were unsuccessful. A government source said Lau last spoke to her husband on April 28, when he urged her not to come to the mainland but to try to help his cause from within Hong Kong. Under the notification system mainland police are obliged to notify Hong Kong counterparts 'at the earliest time' of the arrest of a special administrative region resident, so their family can be informed. The Security Bureau refused to comment on why it took six weeks for the notification to be made, or on when the government first became aware of the case. What is known is that chief executive hopeful Donald Tsang Yam-kuen knew about it and referred it to Mr Lee. Mainland officials said nothing about the detention until last week. Mr Lee's spokesman said Ching's family asked the government for help, but would not elaborate.